Phil Lesh and Friends Live at Greek Theater on 2007-09-23
Set 1/ 1:Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 2:Good Lovin' 3:Why Don't We Do It In The Road 4:Deal 5:The Weight 6:Gone Wanderin'* 7:Cumberland Blues* 8:Supercede You*
Set 2/ 9:Playing in the Band 10:Mexican Girl 11:Candyman 12:Fire on the Mountain 13:Pee Jam 14:St. Stephen 15:A Hard Rain's A-Gonna fall 16:The Wheel 17:Eyes Of The World 18:Sugar Magnolia 19:Donor Rap/Intros
20:Encore: Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad #
Lineup: Phil Lesh-bass,vocals Jackie Greene-guitar,vocals Larry Campbell-guitar+ John Molo-drums, Steve Molitz-keyboard
* Barry Sless on Pedal Steel
# Mark Karan on Guitar
Thanks to Chris Kershaw,Dan Stein and Rhino for helping make this happen
Subject: I like it...
I'm a big fan of how the band arranged Hard Rain in this era - *that's* how you play Dylan...and a couple of nods to Bob Weir throughout the night reinforce how important it is for the newer generation to keep this music alive outside of the players who wrote it.
The St. Stephen > Hard Rain and Eyes are the jewels of the night.
Subject: Never quite lifts off...
2nd Set: Some tuning and opening jam precedes (the oft used verbal calling out of transitions) "Playin." Again JG lacks the force behind Bobby's barks not to mention a perspective - pretty lame climactic transition in the late 5's. Some intricate playing in the 10s and 11s builds my anticipation before it unexpectedly and unfortunately shuts down, c'mon men , let it bleed, into something more ponderous. It threatens a reprise in the 13's before melting away into oblivion. More head-tapping with JG's ruminitive "Mexican Girl." Issue I have with most of his tunes is that they're never rockers, they're not fun (at least 'BS' of the previous night had that quality) - and his voice doesn't have the beauty or personality to carry ballads (though there are some personable guitar riffages throughout the tune.) Too much of JG and I'll need the "Candyman." Some sensitive guitar during the middle three's & end of solo - but just an average rendition. Like much of the second set, Phil's mumbling something before they dive into unrecognizable waters - ahhh at 1:30 it's "Fire" intentions are made clear. Nothing triumphant - but I'm a fan of Phil's scowlin so the verses are a pleasure. Perk up at the late 7's. A nervous poker labeled the "Pee Jam" reminds me of those endearing 'polka' sessions the GD would employ. I think Phil calls out a "St. Stephen" at 2:25. A decent run-through - nothing life-affirming - a chugger rock anthem emerges out of its end...kinda middle of the road re-imagining of "A Hard Rain's" 11 minutes?! again - little with inventive sounds & directions. Flourishes in and around the chorus of "The Wheel" impress and the line upon which they build in the eight's is entertaining - before that, feels purposele4ss - Molo expands the drum beat - they trade riffs, we clap along in the nine's before Lesh calls out a departure through the "Eyes" of our world - the smoothest transition of the show - good times, it's got energy and steams ahead - one of the better tunes of the night. Things quiet down before the BW bookend is complete with some "Sugar." I don't know who pushed for the inclusion of rock star BW's tunes - it sounds decent - but it's not the Phil & Friends I'm accustomed to. "A good day in the People's Republic" well...GD fans are rather nationalistic and defensive when it comes to criticizing their leaders - not too far from the Chinese people's attitudes towards the West attacking em for Tibet/Sudan/etc. etc. Anyway, the show ends with
a "GDTRFB." Never dug the song as a stand-alone as it's natural segue material. Probably played as a tribute to (an onstage)Mr. Karan's cancer battles. There's a lightness of touch with GD's versions that isn't equaled by the twang-y sound Phil employs. However, this version does have a solid straight-ahead energy
To comment on 'Raines' I agree with his main argument - that this collective of musicians is not an assembly of individuals who will be able to transcend the music nearly as much as prime P & Friends aka Haynes and Herring - but JG is a crowd-pleaser, and as recent set lists have proven, this is a band that will surprise by knowing how to play almost a triple-digit amount of tunes. However, we all know quantity does not = quality - go back to 2002 & 03 for that. As a side note I disagree with his assessment of the previous night's "Gotta Serve." I find it unfair to criticize the playing of a tune just because the song represents and epitomized the pretentions of the hypocritical author who at the time was painfully reacting to the hollow musical offerings of that period - late 70s. Nevertheless, enjoyed reading his entry.
3 1/6 stars - maybe a smidgen better than last night.
Subject: 16 bit rarely sounds this good
I downloaded your awesome recording of Phil Lesh and Friends at the Greek Theater on 09/23/08 from archive.org. I believe that this is as good as it is possible for the 16/44.1 format to sound.
I would be grateful to you for the rest of my life if you allow me to download the full resolution 24/96 version of this recording.
Subject: SO SICK OF...
(although I have static in left ear on first track)
and an excellent selection of covers.
I'd say Go For It
Subject: Who cares about Santa Barbara?
But the real good news abut this show is the way Larry Campbell has stepped up like never before. The second set (St. Stephen!) speaks for itself.
The first set suffered from sound check issues (turn up Jackie!) up until Barry Sless took the stage. Gone Wanderin' & Cumberland went to a whole new level because of Barry.
With all due respect Raines, go post your negative energy about the Santa Barbara show on your personal blog or on some fan site message board where somebody cares. This is the place for reviews of the Greek Theater show. This line up can kick ass as well as any other P&F lineup we've ever seen. Too bad you had to see the first show a very long tour.
I was twenty feet from the stage dead center and heard the mumblings about how Jackie couldn't keep up with the jams. They shut after Gone Wanderin', and their jaws were dropping by Mexican Girl. Welcome to the club, Jackie.
17 stars. Would love to hear a soundboard version.
Subject: Jackie is smokin
Subject: Let's Give the Boy a Chance!
Subject: My long blog on the Santa Barbara show.
The Bowl arrangement is a pit in front of the stage for dancing revelry under general admission. Its an interesting and clever set up for the dancing fanatics with the more sedentary concertgoers above with a nice vantage point. The crowd was diverse but mostly 50 and up with a large proportion of hard core, locals eagerly awaiting the opening show of an abbreviated tour. The band was five, with a keyboard on the distant stage left (Steve Molitz), the usual solid John Molo on drums, and two guitarists flanking Phil. Larry Campbell on his right played lead guitar, and Jackie Greene on his left took on the keyboards, harmonica and guitar.
The weather was less than ideal with sprinkles earlier in the day and rolling threatening clouds pervasive in the evening. We were greeted by several ushers (not entirely distinguishable from the paying patrons) and fans, with smiles and nods of admiration given our inclusion of the preteen Jerry Heads accompanying us. The boys have been given the whole "what-for" since birth regarding the respect necessary when around the likes of musical Gratefulness, so they knew the protocol. But let me backup and get somewhat philosophical.
The genre of Gratefulness and the 1960s culture while a college course to those not born of that era, is a conundrum to privileged inquisitive Newport Beach youths. It can, and has led to days of questioning, integrating, and internal reconciliation. I have accepted this inquisition, and by this introduction have begged the question. Topics range from life choices, addiction, dreadlocks, "kindness" and "miracle tickets". The parenting issue remains, however, one of age appropriateness. Can the boys at any level make any sense of this experience? I believe they do at some level, will over time, and in the end be more enriched by it. Remember your first opera? Once seated, the boys stated their discomforts. There was reluctance sitting next to "strangers", abhorrence of the smoke, and concern for the forlorn seeking the "miracle ticket". One of my boys decided the ear plugs provided by the kind usher provided better nasal plugs, which mother found amusing, pungency notwithstanding. After some quiet discussions addressing their issues as outlined above, the boys were seated between us and as darkness fell the band took the stage.
The Friends opened with Golden Road in a spirited fashion, as Jackie Greene took leads and sang. Loose Lucy followed with a juicy jam before a Greene tune (So Hard to Find My Way). Phil then sang a slow Birdsong with its due jam within, before The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. And Phil still cant sing despite his sincerest attempts. So too, it became apparent that Jackie Greene was the point person for this band, taking front stage, moving between instruments, and singing most songs. The impression I got however after these first songs, was that he is a studio musician stepping in to take part in an experience that previously defined exploration and unspoken musical communication. The first set concluded with another Greene song ("Walkin Away")?, Sugaree, and a new original tune. Sugaree featured Larry Campbell's strong blues/stratocaster sound which I found to be unidimensional and lacking any diversity of sound throughout the concert, limiting his contribution. For Sugaree, however, it made for a strong performance. Clearly Phil was pleased with the final new song, high-fiveing the band members one at a time at the conclusion.
The intermission was unusually long perhaps because of impending sprinkles or more likely band consolidation/preparation. Nonetheless, after about an hour's break the band started up with Cold Rain and Snow. As I recall it wasn't particularly noteworthy, but a nice opener, and a solid performance. Unfortunately what followed was the proverbial Cowboy Neal taking the wheel and driving us to the abyss and back. To wit, Dylan's Serve Somebody was sung by Greene with a passion and intensity usually reserved for a set closer when a frenzy evolves from musical greatness. Yet, as one of the few unequivocal Dylan flops, his emotion in the face of mediocrity really bordered on ridiculous. For me, it gave Greene's inclusion in the band a sour taste; contrary to the desire to experience understated, unspoken well-communicated musical exploration which drew most of us to the scene. The song was further punctuated with his playing an acoustic guitar and Campbell a violin. Save it for the record. The third song of the set introduced the beginning of the ascension from badness in New Speedway Boogie. Still, the arrangement came across as sung by a studio musician rather than an aggrieved observer, and was farfetched from the genesis of the song written as a sad representation of a tragedy. Finally the thundering acme of The Other One->Cryptical was the surreal tune that was the centerpiece of the show and an embodiment of Phil and his legions. In a strange way Phil's total butchering of the lyrics represented the spontaneously focused intensity of the music we have come to expect and love. The lyrical guffaws were a large part of the highlight of the night.
Restlessness, fatigue and the late hour made this our last witnessed song. In the now cool, clear air, the sound reverberated from the stage to the high school parking lot where we could clearly hear Casey Jones and Brown Sugar conclude the show as we made our way back to the car. My visual was that of Jackie Greene kicking his heel to the beat while leading the band. I can only imagine, too, that Franklins Tower, our beloved Jerry vehicle, was a pseudojam that was met received as a fond remembrance of times past, or a bitter reminder of what could have been. This time Phil has assembled musicians to play mostly rehearsed tunes old and new, rather than committing to an ensemble that would learn each others musical range and see where it leads. Previous collaborations (Kimock, Herring, Haynes, Trucks) have had far more potential in creating the experience I hope for as I search for the sound. Today's lineup has no chance.
Subject: Quit yer bitchin
I know that when i am browsing a new band and lookin for good shows, most of the time the excited 5 star reviews from people who were at the show are completely useless. Some music is fun when live, some is good recorded but the two do not always overlap. The negative but honest reviews are critical here. If some people were getting bad vibes, i wanna hear-do you really just want to think that the community is fat and happy or do you want to see how all your friends are doing honestly? these posts would be soo boring if they were just hundreds of statements like "I Love phil"
Anywho... i agree with someone below, i did not feel the first set at all, but the second set was phenominal and i left feelin great. As for Jackie... lets just say i was glad that Larry was there to play lead. The keyboardist did a great job a towards the end especially and Phil and Molo rocked bigtime. Barry and Cumberland were great. The only real criticism i have of this incarnation of P&F is that they played all the songs more or less the same... The Wheel didnt sound like the wheel and candyman didnt have the eerie and haunting sound that makes it a great song. Both of those songs were played with the same style and emotion that St Stephan was played with and while it was fun, it was sad for me to see the spirit of songs ignored.
Subject: I've got the penguin right here in my pocket
Bravo Phil. I'll see ya 6 times out east. Keep on truckin!
Subject: the show was so much better than this recorded version
In person the show was awesome as was the SB the nite before.
This is coming from a 40 year fan.
Subject: There Were Days Between
It's easy to rip apart and say "Oh that Shakedown from 3/27/85 was much hotter than what Larry played last night. zeesh... think of this, At least you are getting a Shakedown live from Phil!! I don't mean sound preachy, but I think it needs to be said that we should be relishing these shows, this is the gravy of the years of music these guys put out for us. They will be gone soon, and then thats it!! Open your hearts, let the vibe in!! 5 Stars just for Phil still getting out on stage!!
Subject: get a life
Subject: but IMO, mine sounds better
Subject: geez...is this whats being sadly ressurected these days?
IMO I think it sounds better then the flat Neuman mics....I know there might be a small click here and there on my recording but it sounds more fuller then this version...both still good...but IMO, mine sounds better
Subject: WHAT A GREAT SHOW AT THE GREEK
ONE MORE THING.....If anyone knows where I can get a copy of the Santa Barbara show please let me know as I have not seen it posted as of yet.....Everything looked and sounded good as I was recording, but my CFC will not play any tracks back to transfer the show
SMILE SMILE SMILE and stay in touch....Lou
Subject: A Great Ensemble
Subject: Great Show!
Subject: Great Show
Subject: Pretty good, but by no means a five star show......
Phil's biggest fan ever.
Subject: Peak at the Greek!
Subject: Many thanks to the tapers
Subject: Independent show
Subject: Sunny Sunday and extra friends
Subject: Sharing also on etree.org
Subject: Another Phil/Jackie show
Subject: Second Set just ripped!
Subject: Thank You
Pee Jame LOL
Subject: Phil @ The Greek!
Subject: Thank You
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